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The Top 5 Coaches That Oregon State Basketball Will Face In 2017-2018

Beavers head coach Wayne Tinkle will have some challenging coaching adversaries on-the-court against him this season.

NCAA Basketball: California at Arizona Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

1. Sean Miller (Arizona)

The coach in the Pac-12 that every coach is seemingly trying to emulate (and every athletic director probably wishes they had), it was quite surprising to see that Miller’s program at Arizona was brought up in college basketball’s recent FBI probe as a school of interest, in regard to a potential bribery scandal involving an assistant coach. And yet, until all the details are fully understood and more questions are answered, it’d be hard to discredit all that Miller has accomplished with the Wildcats, considering the NCAA has yet to rule in many of these scenarios. Off-the-court speculation aside, in just eight seasons at Arizona, Miller has posted four 30+ win seasons and made six trips to the NCAA Tournament, three times making the Elite Eight. And in total, his 220-66 mark as Arizona’s head coach gives him almost a ridiculous 77% win percentage over his tenure, solidifying his spot as one of the best coaches in all of college basketball.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-West Regional Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

2. Dana Altman (Oregon)

While arguably the toughest test of Altman’s stay in Eugene lays in front of him for the 2017-2018 campaign, the Oregon head coach has been nothing short of a splash hire for the Ducks, since the school lured him away from Creighton back in 2010. Although Altman’s first five seasons at Oregon were mightily impressive in their own regard, it’s been the last two years in which the Ducks have really distinguished themselves as a national program, after reaching an Elite Eight and a Final Four with a combined 64-13 record. A three-time Pac-12 Coach of the Year, Altman has won over 65% of his games at the Division I level overall and currently, the 59-year old sits just three wins shy of the 600 win plateau for his career. As tough as it may be for some of those fans in Beaver Nation out there to do, you have to give credit where credit is due, when it comes down to the ability of Altman to have turned Oregon into one of the best programs on the West Coast.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Oregon vs St. Joseph's James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

3. Steve Alford (UCLA)

Often scrutinized by a results-driven fan base that’s yearning for a return to the National Championship contending days in Westwood, it’s hard to argue from an unbiased standpoint with the job that Steve Alford has done at UCLA since taking control of the program back in 2013. Alford has led the Bruins to the Sweet Sixteen in three of his four seasons with the program, including last year’s 31-5 team, that boasted a roster full of NBA-level talent. It’s clear that Alford is recruiting at a high-level (a staple of what UCLA fans want to see) and winning at a torrid pace. It’s just getting a hungry fan base on his side that has seemed to be his biggest issue.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-South Regional-Kentucky vs UCLA Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

4. Ray Harper (Jacksonville State)

A bit of an embattled coach during his rise through the coaching ranks, Ray Harper’s off-court speculations are probably the prime reasons that the 55-year old is at Jacksonville State and not a high-major program at this point in his career. Although, nevertheless, when Harper’s teams do take the floor, its easy to tell why Harper has found success at just about every stop he’s made along the way. A seven-time Division II Coach of the Year at Kentucky Wesleyan, where he won two National Championships and posted a 242-45 record, Harper also has two NAIA titles to his name from his time at Oklahoma City University from 2005-2008. While his previous stint at Western Kentucky ended under some mysterious circumstances, Harper did impress (once again) during his first year at Jacksonville State, where he guided the Gamecocks to a 20-15 record and an NCAA Tournament birth.

NCAA Basketball: Middle Tennessee State at Western Kentucky Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

5. Andy Enfield (USC)

The orchestrator of "Dunk City", who led an upstart Florida Gulf Coast team to the 2013 Sweet Sixteen, the Trojans’ Andy Enfield was the "hot name" hire at USC four seasons ago, when he was brought in to revamp a struggling program in the City of Angels. After two rebuilding campaigns, Enfield has guided USC to back-to-back NCAA Tournament trips, winning 47 of his last 70 games overall. However, the major knock on Enfield has been his lack of conference victories, where he’s posted just a 19-17 mark since 2015. While expectations for the upcoming 2017-2018 campaign are as high as they’ve ever been at USC, a recent alleged bribery scandal could cast a black cloud over the scope of the Trojans’ program going forward.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Baylor vs USC Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Also Considered

Tad Boyle (Colorado): Noted as a program re-builder after he turned a four-win Northern Colorado program into a 25-8 team in just four seasons, Boyle was hired at Colorado back in 2010 with the task of making the Buffs into a relevant Pac-12 program. Seven years and four trips to the NCAA Tournament later, Boyle has seemingly got the job done so far in Boulder, as one of the league’s always more intriguing programs. Like Enfield, Boyle needs to do a more consistent job of finding wins in Pac-12 play, where he’s won only 51% of his in-league games since Colorado joined the conference back in 2011.

Larry Krystkowiak (Utah): After spending his first two seasons in Salt Lake City constructing a struggling Utes program from the ground up, Krystkowiak has built Utah into one the Pac-12’s tougher and more consistent teams on an annual basis. Over the past four seasons, the Utes have averaged 23.5 wins per year, which included a trip to the Sweet Sixteen back in 2015. In addition to simply winning at a steady pace, Krystkowiak is also known as one the country’s best “big-man” coaches, having developed the likes of Kyle Kuzma (Los Angeles Lakers) and Jakob Poeltl (Toronto Raptors) in recent seasons.

Rob Senderoff (Kent State): While maybe not usually considered in the same breath as some of the other notable coaches on this list, Senderoff is one of the game’s more unheralded program directors, who has turned the Golden Flashes into annual MAC contenders. The New York native has posted four 20-plus win seasons (and one 19-win campaign) in six years at Kent State and last season, he guided the Golden Flashes to their first NCAA Tournament trip since 2008.